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At 6.3% ABV (after bottle conditioning), this pilsner recipe comes out a little strong for your typical pilsner, but it’s easy to get fooled by this one! However, at 38 IBU, it’s on the slightly bitter side of where a pilsner should be. It’s not a German or Bohemian pilsner, it’s not even an American Pilsner; we’re calling it an New World Japanese-American Pilsner due to the mixture of Japanese and American hops (plus a little bit of Australian hops too) for a good mix of bitterness, fruit, and of course some great florals.

This pilsner isn’t as crisp or low bodied as a lot of other pilsners, but it comes out great and, due to the body, will appease hardcore ale drinkers despite it being a lager style. Because of all of this as well, this makes the Kaku Pilsner a bit easier to make than other lager styles; lightness can make it difficult to hide behind mistakes, but this beer recipe has enough to it that problems aren’t easily apparent.

The Story Behind the Name

Michio KakuAs with all of our home brew recipes, this one is named after a scientist.

Michio Kaku is a Japanese-American theoretical physicist and futurist as well as being a popular writer and general all in all promoter of the awesomeness of science. Adding to this, Kaku appears regularly on television, whether it be for an interview or for full length documentaries.

Michio Kaku was interested in science from an early age and notably built a particle accelerator in his parents’ garage during high school in an attempt to create antimatter. This eventually lead Kaku to fall in with the “father of the hydrogen bomb” Edward Teller and eventually onto Harvard University.

When not doing science, Kaku also happens to be an accomplished ice skater.

Equipment Needed

This is a pretty basic recipe, so a basic all grain set up should be fine. However, being a lager style of beer, fermentation temperatures are lower, so having temperature control is highly recommended.

The minimum home brew equipment recommended is:

  • Mash tun – we used the Esky/cooler method for mashing
  • Wort chiller – we used an immersion chiller. For a pilsner, this beer is actually pretty well hopped, so you wouldn’t want to risk keeping the hops active longer than they should be.
  • Fermentation temperature regulation – we fermented at 13 degrees Celsius. While the yeast can tolerate up to 22 degrees Celsius, that high a temperature doesn’t it lend itself to a good pilsner, and a degree over that would probably ruin it. Get a fridge for this one.
  • Secondary fermenter for lagering – this recipe calls for conditioning at 3 degrees Celsius for an additional two weeks. You’ll need to do this in a secondary fermeneter.

The Recipe

This recipe is for a 24 litre batch of beer.

Grain:

Mash the grain for 60 minutes at 66 degrees Celsius in 16 litres of water. Check out our strike water temperature calculator to get the right mash temperature.

Total grain of 5.66 kilograms consisting of:

  • 5 kilograms – German Pilsner Malt
  • 0.06 kilograms – Pale Wheat Malt
  • 0.1 kilograms – Crystal Malt
  • 0.5 kilograms – Rye

Hops:

The total boil time is 60 minutes.

Bittering hops – 60 minute boil

  • 25 grams – Styrian Goldings

Taste hops – 20 minute boil

Aroma hops – flame out

Dry hop

  • 10 grams – Ella

Yeast and final steps

Yeast – DCL Saflager w-34/70

Fermentation temperature: 13 degrees for two weeks

Remove from fridge and allow the beer to sit at room temperature for two days

Condition in a secondary fermenter: 3 degrees for two weeks

Bulk priming: 126 grams caster sugar

Stats

OG: 1.052

FG: 1.008

ABV: 5.8% (without bottle conditioning)

IBU: 38 IBU

Give this recipe a go and tell us how it turns out.

Like the recipe? Check out our other home brew recipes.

Did you get different specific gravities or just need more stats? Check out our ABV calculator.

Did you try different hops? Check out our IBU calculator.